Hands on: Metroid: Other M
Thursday 01 April 2010
And so once more Nintendo take Metroid, one of their most popular franchises, back to the drawing board. For those not in the know Metroid originated on the NES some 24 years ago; its hero, Samus Aran, and the intelligent 2D side-scrolling gameplay proving an instant sensation.
After numerous 2D adventures Nintendo took the brave decision to outsource Samus’s next adventure to Retro Studious and a hugely impressive, and successful, 3D take on the franchise was born – Metroid Prime. Now, after a trilogy of first-person shooters courtesy of Retro, Nintendo have placed Metroid in the hands of Team Ninja, a developer more famous for producing the Ninja Gaiden series of sword-slashing action games.
Storywise, the demo begins just after Super Metroid finished. Samus has just defeated ‘Mother Brain’ Super Metroid’s monstrous villain and heads back to base for some rest and recuperation. Successfully treated she heads back out into space and soon chances upon a distress call which leads her to a space station and some old friends from the armed forces. After some initial needling they glumly accept they need her help and the adventure begins, although in traditional Metroid style Samus is denied full-access to her full repertoire of attacks from the get-go, missile attacks for example only becoming available once the commander has allowed their use.
Every facet of Other M screams Team Ninja, from the perspective – a blend of 2D and 3D – to the feel of the combat and even the lush FMV cutscenes. Sure, handling Samus feels a little alien at first, not least because it’s a gun she’s wielding rather than a sword, but soon you’ll be jumping about and dealing death like a pro. In fact in the demo we played combat was almost too easy thanks to the overly-efficient auto-targeting, though hopefully larger enemies will prove more of a challenge than those in the game’s early stages for those demanding a challenge.
It’s in the control of Samus where we see the biggest innovation and in turn potential for failure. Controlled by the Wiimote alone she’s free only to move along set paths, though this linearity is great for showing off Samus’s moves – and Other M is most definitely a looker – the limitation of movement decreases Samus’s scope for exploration. It seems Team Ninja will have to create some innovative puzzles and environments in order to command the player’s attention. The other noteworthy control mechanism is the first-person view, triggered by pointing the Wiimote at the screen. It’s through this view that Samus can discover hidden items, interact with objects and launch missiles, albeit while stationary. For example, an early boss encounter sees our hero targeting an enemy’s weak spot from first-person before quickly switching back to 2D to avoid retaliatory strikes.
We’re excited to see how Other M develops and with a release still some months away there is still plenty of time to expand on the first-person implementation and other issues. Hopefully when the full game lands there will plenty of metroid-shaped surprises in store, for now check out the latest Metroid: Other M video:
Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax
Life & Style blogs
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?
Black Friday: Best beauty deals
Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Coke milk? Coca-Cola to launch premium milk brand called Fairlife
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings casting controversy: Ridley Scott would never cast 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£90000 - £140000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achievin...
£25000 - £37000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you seeking to furth...
£50000 - £120000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a highly succes...
£45000 - £80000 per annum + car + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: A market leader in...